Jump directly to the Content

Who Am I to Speak for God?

We craft personas as preachers. God prefers to use us as real people.
Who Am I to Speak for God?
Image: Ben White / Unsplash

I preached my first sermon to my home church while still a student in seminary. Everybody showed up to hear it—aunts and uncles and grandparents and cousins, the Sunday school teachers and youth workers and other mentors who’d had a hand in my spiritual nurturing—all of them about ready to burst with pride at my being a preacher. They sweetly poured on praise with sugar and said my sermon was just fine, bless his heart. One old gentleman went so far as to glad-fist a hundred-dollar bill into my hand on his way out. I reread that first sermon recently, and it truly was terrible. The old gentleman gave me that hundred out of necessity. He knew there was no way I would make it as a minister.

The fact that Jesus’ first sermon worried his home congregation gave me solace. Though Jesus’ sermon excelled and astounded the crowd, they nevertheless suspiciously whispered, Where did this man get such wisdom and these deeds of power? Isn’t he that carpenter’s ...

From Issue:The State of Preaching 2020: 
July/August
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

From the Magazine
Is Sexuality a Matter of First Importance?
Is Sexuality a Matter of First Importance?
The apostle Paul’s discussion of same-sex sexuality in 1 Corinthians 6 is a clear, compassionate, and proportionate model for church leaders.
Editor's Pick
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
Understanding God and our world needs more than bare reason and experience.
close